VIENTIANE, Dec 19: Laos has received 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines from Australia today in accordance with a pledge to assist Laos in its fight against the virus, reports Laotian Times.
The doses of vaccines arrived in Vientiane Capital today and are part of a total number of 1 million doses of vaccines pledged by Australia to Laos, according to a senior government official.
The Australian government announced in May that Australia would provide a grant of AUD 15.2 million (US 11.85 million) for the rollout of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines in Laos.
The contribution is said will assist the Lao government in significantly increasing the proportion of citizens that are to be safely vaccinated.
Australia’s vaccine support package for Laos is in addition to the AUD 4.8 million (US 3.74 million) of development assistance for the Covid-19 response that Australia is delivering.
Australia has also made a significant contribution to the multilateral COVAX facility, which has shipped hundreds of doses of vaccines to Laos.
Earlier on Saturday, Poland also donated 138,600 doses of the AstraZeneca Coviod-19 vaccine to Laos in order to help the government reach its target of vaccinating 50 percent of the total population by the end of this year, reports Vientiane Times.
The vaccine was handed over to Minister of Health Dr Bounfeng Phoummalaysith on Thursday by the Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Laos, Vincent Vire.
Dr Bounfeng expressed his appreciation of the donation by the Polish government, saying the vaccine has arrived at a time when health authorities are rolling out booster shots to curb the spread of Covid as Laos prepares to reopen its doors to tourists.
The donation of vaccine from Poland is part of the continuing support provided to Laos by the European Union in the battle against Covid-19.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland sent a message that read: “Bearing in mind that vaccination is one of the most effective ways of preventing Covid-19, the government of Laos has appealed to the international community for assistance in this regard.
Poland responded positively to the plea and donated vaccines to Laos. At the moment, our country’s vaccine stockpile covers the national demand, which allows us to share with other countries in need.”
Laos and Poland established diplomatic relations in 1962.